Monday, September 29, 2008

For Steve, $500 is the new $75 -- again

In one of the biggest surprises of the campaign so far, Steve Harper said he would extend the physical fitness tax credit to those parents who instead choose to enroll their kids in the performing and visual arts.

The good news is that it's nice to see that Steve has actually listened to ordinary Canadians on this one -- the bad news of course, is that because it's a tax credit the imputed amount is much greater than the actual savings. $500 works out to only $75; and with the average music or dance lesson at about $20 per week, that money will go very quickly. Like the fitness credit, it's peanuts.

How about instead using the approach Québec uses for its provincial taxes -- a real and refundable tax credit for fitness or arts based on one's demonstrated potential? It's little wonder why a plurality of performers and athletes hail from the province, or that many Canadians reaching for the stars decide to hang their shingle there.

And of course there's the obvious problem with Harper's plan: If you cut funding to the current performing arts, then why fund its education for its future bright lights?

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Carrie said...

He'll never follow through with this promise probably. He's promising all kinds of small things but no platform. Still. Because he knows, he always breaks his promises.

I don't know why anyone takes anything he says seriously.

BlastFurnace said...

Well, that's just it, Carrie. People think all his little promises add up to something big -- and they don't. It's less than a real percentage point cut in the income tax rate, for instance.

It's just more of the same and in the meantime we get a whole lot of mean spiritedness to boot to go along with it.